Ecommerce Expo discusses sustainability and cost of living

Speaking at Ecommerce Expo, co-located with Technology for Marketing, Jumoke Adekunle, Global Brand Marketing Lead at Depop said that brands must be “open to scrutiny and be open and honest. You might not always have the answers, but you must admit it” this is the key to “building consistent connections” and trust with your communities and customers.

The panel discussion was chaired by Gillian Harris, Head of Marketing Program Management at Trustpilot and focussed around purpose-driven marketing.

In the discussion, Adekunle stressed that “Honesty and transparency are key….You have to show trust and build it, through your behaviour with your communities. It’s about constantly showing that and having a two-way dialogue with the audience.”

Janis Thomas, Director of Ecommerce and Marketing at Look Fabulous Forever, a make-up retailer aimed at older women, agreed and explained that it was also about having trust in your customers: “You can try any of our products and if they don’t suit you then you can return it to us free of charge for a full refund…We put our trust in our customers – that they won’t abuse it and will act in good faith.”

However, Thomas also stressed that with the rising cost of living, a shift is starting to happen with customers and their priorities when it comes to sustainability:

“In terms of sustainability, it’s something we survey customers every quarter, and we benchmark. We’ve been measuring this since June 2020, when concerns around sustainability were more important. But from June 2022, there was a switch.

It seems that people may be willing to compromise on sustainability for value for money, and this is now the real crucial factor.”

Thomas made it clear that businesses “shouldn’t abandon green principles” but “need to think about the priority for your customer.”

Nimesh Shah, Marketing Director at Feel Good Contacts, an ecommerce business selling contact lenses, acknowledged that brands can still focus on their sustainability initiatives: “Make it clear what the mission statement is and the end goal. Don’t do it half-heartedly.”

Shah stressed it was important to have “constant communication with your consumers, and get their feedback.”